How are you adjusting to living back in California?
It’s been pretty easy overall because Jenna and I grew up here. When we were living in Washington, we would still come and visit twice a year for extended periods of time so the kids were already super familiar with it. Getting used to being in a more urban environment again was a bit harsh, but after a couple of years of renting in a suburban neighborhood, we bought a house out in the canyons of Orange County and have been happy out here. It’s pretty much a perfect medium between what we had on Vashon and regular suburbia—more space, land, nature. Even the 15 minute drive out into the canyons is akin to the ferry ride we had to get on/off the island. You start to feel a psychological and physical break from the rest of the world as you’re driving in.
Do you have family nearby?
Yeah, Jenna’s family is close as well as a lot of our friends we grew up with. My dad lived with us for a bit in Vashon and again for a hot minute when we moved to California, but he’s been back in Japan now for a couple of years.
You guys released two new Thrice records after a long hiatus and have been touring often again, but in the meantime you’re working on leather goods here at home. Do you have a hard time switching back and forth between the two creative endeavors?
I actually do find it difficult. It’s mostly that playing in a band inevitably means touring and traveling a lot, and doing this on my own means I don’t have anyone to keep the shop running while I’m away. Not just making and designing, but even just simple things like shipping – basic day to day stuff that goes into running a business like this has to be put on pause every time I’m away. It’s a lot of on/off so it’s hard for me to gain any sort of momentum, both creatively and business-wise. I have to take half a step backwards every time I leave, come back, and find my groove again. I still have a passion for designing, making and creating and that’s what keeps me going. I still need an outlet for all the crap that floats around in my brain.